Apartheid’s legacy is kept alive through spatial, physical, political, social, economic, racial and religious divisions. This is evident in the city of Cape Town that was designed to remind certain humans that they do not belong, and it continues to do what it was designed to do. How do the present/future designers of the city (namely architects, engineers, town planners etc) situate our/themselves in the dynamic ruin of home making in the (post)apartheid city? Within it, homes are continually being fought for, built, rebuilt, relocated, demolished and recreated in the Zinc Forest (Vellem, 2016), informal communities characterised by self- made shacks. The shack never stops moving, because the spirit of the ulangisa nganyenganye (bit by bit, in isiXhosa) means that it is always changing. For example, the carpet Siya James used at the outset to make a roof for his home became a flat Zinc sheet through its encounter with rain. It then got slanted at an angle to shed the rainwater. This is the relational process (Barad 2007, 2010) of home making as well as a worlding process (Haraway, 2008). If we understand the nature of the Zinc Forest as a worlding process taking root, growing and constantly forming and becoming, there is an opportunity for us to diffract this phenomenon through other forests (i.e. Kelp Forests). This diffractive methodology can help us to re- conceptualise and re-define the nature of place making and the forming of home in the face of histories and memories that refuse to go away.


Barry Lewis